Arab and Jewish Teenagers Participate in Arts Course
Written by Ruby Ong
Thirty-two Arab and Jewish students aged 15-18 from the periphery recently took part in a unique arts class in Tel Aviv. The five hour session, which involved some of Israel's leading artists in the fields of opera, music, dance and drama, was organized by leading conductor soprano singer Yael Cherniavsky, with support from NIF.
Cherniavsky recalled that she was recently a judge in a music competition. "I heard a wonderful young Arab singer and later that day I heard a very talented Jewish singer. And I thought in these difficult times with rising racism wouldn't it be wonderful if they could sing together."
The master-class idea was born with the aim of strengthening the values of openness and exposure. "Exposure has a double meaning," stresses Cherniavsky, "exposing talented teenagers from the periphery to top artists in Tel Aviv and exposing Jews and Arabs to each other's culture."
Prof. Tasir Elias, one of the world's top oud (a traditional Arabic stringed instrument) players, taught a class that fused western and eastern music, while a drama workshop by Carmeri Theater actor Dror Keren was also a multi-cultural fusion drawing from Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, Israel's Hanoch Levin and Syria's Sadallah Wanus.
"Through music and art, we discovered a common language,” said Cherniavsky."The event was so successful we plan to make it a bi-annual event, and use them to nurture top quality, talented Jewish and Arab students living in the periphery."
View a short video clip from the event below (in Hebrew).